Aral Sea is a production company and a platform for storytelling. We are moving the spotlight onto underrepresented creatives, artists and thinkers. Started in 2019, Aral Sea was founded on a desire to change the film landscape and create a more inclusive and thoughtful process. Since then we have expanded into audio, video, and branded content.
Our ethos is simple: diversity, inclusiveness, and care for the environment.
What do we do?
We have two sides: the work we share, and the work we produce ourselves. We are committed to sharing the work of talented creatives and using our platform to provide opportunities. As a production company, we also create visually stimulating content including short films, documentaries and campaigns through sustainable practices.
We want to restructure the creative industry. To normalise crews that are melting pots of backgrounds, ethnicities and genders. The film industry is incredibly hierarchal and male dominated, and we want to change that.
Entry into the arts sector is difficult without connections, so we hope to give people a helping hand. We are relentless in hammering down the barriers that stop people from taking part in producing film, photography and audio. If people have something interesting and new to say, we want to help them say it. Watch the trailer for our first feature length production, Beyond The Red Light, to find out how our all female crew are documenting the fight for sex workers’ rights around the world.
Why the Aral Sea?
Situated between southern Kazakhstan and northern Uzbekistan, the Aral Sea was the world’s fourth largest lake, and part of the Soviet Union until 1991. In 1960, its two tributaries, the Amu Daria and the Sir Daria, were used to channel a third of the sea’s water as irrigation for cotton. Soviet engineers built canals, dams and reservoirs to do this and by the 2000s, the sea had officially dried up. The area is now called the Aralkum Desert. We decided to name ourselves after the Aral Sea as a tribute and as a constant reminder of the need to make a more positive impact on our planet.
The World Aral Region Charity (WARC) is an American 501(c)3 nonprofit working to relieve the horrifying effects of the Aral Sea Crisis on Uzbek towns. Through partnerships with local initiatives, they aim to provide and promote global support for the Aral Region.
Over the last three years, WARC have donated RO filters, drip-line systems, warm clothes, school materials, vitamins, fruit trees and saxaul trees to communities facing the ecological effects of the Aral Crisis.
Last year, with the support of the Coca Cola Foundation, WARC successfully installed 3 drip-lines and RO filters in Khorezm. They also focus on cultural and educational programs: educational initiatives, concerts, festivals and exhibits that encourage people-to-people connections and new ideas for solving the Aral Crisis. Funding comes from crowdfunding campaigns, corporate sponsors and grant-makers.
UNDP Accelerator Lab
‘We are part of the generation, who witnessed the disappearance of the Aral Sea in real time. But we can also become a generation who changes the course of history and creates the Aral Sea Forest.’
‘We, the Accelerator Lab of UNDP in Uzbekistan, which searches for and promotes innovative solutions, believe that any challenge, difficulty or dead-end situation faced in the world can be overcome with the efforts of a global family.’
‘We have already attained strong support from the local community affected by the Aral Sea disappearance, from government partners, and from international organisations. Now we need the support of more like-minded people. People like you.’